Running a small business, contrary to the usual perception, is not easy. Your business might have moved from a startup to a small venture but you will find that you are always short of time to monitor various facets of your organisation. Additionally, you might be fully conversant with the running of your business and devising expansion plans but short on knowledge when it comes to legal and compliance matters. Mistakes here can be very damaging for your business, especially if you have to pay hefty fines to statutory authorities for not following set regulations.
Even though hiring a lawyer for your small business can be expensive, it is always advisable to be on the right side of the law, especially when yours is a growing and small business. Further, you may opt to go through online sites and look for solutions to statutory requirements but do you have time for it? Small business owners as it is are overwhelmed with work without having to take on the extra pressure that can readily be entrusted to a professional legal expert.
The main point then is why should you hire a lawyer for your small business and what are the benefits of doing so.
- Setting up a business structure – The business structure that you have decided on affects many operational aspects later. This includes tax incentives and how you will be paid. Statutory regulations differ between sole proprietorships, partnerships and limited companies. Additionally, business rules and regulations vary between States, further compounding the complexities. Only these lawyers who are well conversant with corporate laws can guide you well in this respect and ensure that you do not face unwarranted litigation in future on any issues.
- Protecting intellectual property – You had started your business with a small germ of an idea which has now grown into a flourishing small business. But have you taken any steps to protect your it from being copied by somebody else wanting to make quick profits? This is why you should hire the services of lawyers who are experts in filing for patents and getting a copyright on your behalf. Any infringement of copyright gives you the right to sue to protect your business.
- Drawing up contracts – It is understandable if you as a small business owner feel tempted to use some of the many templates for client and supplier contracts that are available on the Internet. But if you do not understand the legal ramifications, you are likely to be in big trouble. It is always advisable to pay an hour of lawyer’s time to know whether a template that you want to use has all the right clauses that you need to include. The same can be said for all clients’ and suppliers contracts that you receive from them. Have a lawyer check the fine print before signing on the dotted line.
When you hire lawyers, the costs need not necessarily be high. Lawyers often charge according to the size of the business they work for and hence as a small business you can hope for a fair deal that will be financially easy on you.